Dietary Laws


I have a friend that is a Messianic Jew and he is big on supporting the dietary laws from the Old Testament. We as Catholics don’t follow those laws and I am at a loss trying to explain why this is to him. Where did we get rid of those laws, and how? Can you point me to the spot where I can find this out so I can convert him?


First things first: Please remember that you cannot convert anybody. Neither can I, or any other human being, for that matter. Only the Holy Spirit “makes” converts. The rest of us can only hope to be his instruments of conversion. Bishop Fulton Sheen, popularly-acknowledged to be a “convert-maker,” recalled in his autobiography Treasure in Clay being asked by Pope Pius XII how many converts he had “made.” “Your Holiness, I have never counted them,” he remembers replying. “I am always afraid if I did count them, I might think I made them, instead of the Lord” (pp. 251-252).

As to the dietary laws, in Acts 10:9-16, Peter is granted a vision in which he is told to “slaughter and eat” a variety of unclean animals. Peter refuses on grounds that the animals are unclean. He was told, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.” Peter applies this vision to admitting Gentiles into the Church (Acts 10:19-48) but it is also true in its literal meaning: the dietary laws were no longer binding upon Jewish Christians. Paul confirms this in Colossians 2:16-17: “Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath. These are shadows of things to come; the reality belongs to Christ.”

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